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Occupational exposure to vapor, gas, dust, or fumes and chronic airflow limitation, COPD, and emphysema: the Swedish CArdioPulmonary BioImage Study (SCAPIS pilot)

Authors Torén K, Vikgren J, Olin A, Rosengren A, Bergström G, Brandberg J

Received 27 June 2017

Accepted for publication 7 September 2017

Published 29 November 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 3407—3413

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S144933

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Kjell Torén,1 Jenny Vikgren,2 Anna-Carin Olin,1 Annika Rosengren,3 Göran Bergström,3 John Brandberg2

1Section of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, 2Department of Radiology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, 3Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Background: The aim of this study was to estimate the occupational burden of airflow limitation, chronic airflow limitation, COPD, and emphysema.
Materials and methods: Subjects aged 50–64 years (n=1,050) were investigated with forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC). Airflow limitation was defined as FEV1/FVC <0.7 before bronchodilation. Chronic airflow limitation was defined after bronchodilation either according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) as FEV1/FVC <0.7 or according to the lower limit of normal (LLN) approach as FEV1/FVC < LLN. COPD was defined as chronic airflow limitation (GOLD) in combination with dyspnea, wheezing, or chronic bronchitis. Emphysema was classified according to findings from computed tomography of the lungs. Occupational exposure was defined as self-reported occupational exposure to vapor, gas, dust, or fumes (VGDF). Odds ratios (OR) were calculated in models adjusted for age, gender, and smoking; population-attributable fractions and 95% CI were also calculated.
Results: There were significant associations between occupational exposure to VGDF and COPD (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.4–51), airflow limitation (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.3–2.5), and emphysema (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1–3.1). The associations between occupational exposure to VGDF and chronic airflow limitation were weaker, and for the OR, the CIs included unity. The population-attributable fraction for occupational exposure to VGDF was 0.37 (95% CI 0.23–0.47) for COPD and 0.23 (95% CI 0.05–0.35) for emphysema.
Conclusion: The occupational burden of COPD and computed tomography–verified emphysema is substantial.

Keywords:
work, occupation, obstructive airways disease, epidemiology, computed tomography

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